Two Weis Markets’ stores containing a new, environmentally efficient design have earned environmental certifications awards from the GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership, a voluntary Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alliance with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change.
The 62,000-square-foot units are located in Forks Township, near Easton, Pa and in Bellefonte, near State College. Each unit achieved a “silver” GreenChill certificate by meeting tough benchmarks for cutting emissions that harm the earth’s protective ozone layer and contribute to global warming.
“Only a handful of American supermarkets have achieved GreenChill status. To meet these high standards, both stores reduced their refrigerant charges by more than 50%. We achieved these results by installing more efficient refrigeration systems and cases throughout these stores and then carefully monitoring them,” said Kevin Small, Weis Markets vice president, Store Construction and Development. “We are grateful to be recognized as an EPA partner. We will continue to invest in programs and systems that help us reduce our overall environmental impact throughout our store base.”
According to the EPA, meeting or exceeding GreenChill certification criteria helps prevent deterioration of the Earth’s protective ozone layer and combats climate change. Ozone in the upper atmosphere protects the planet from harmful ultraviolet radiation, which can cause skin cancer, cataracts and other ailments.
Even refrigerants that don’t damage the ozone layer can contribute significantly to global warming. That’s why reducing store emissions are doubly important, the EPA adds.
To achieve silver certification, a store must meet stringent environmental criteria, including the following:
- use refrigerants that do not damage the Earth’s protective ozone layer;
- reduce the size of its refrigerant charge by at least 50 percent from the industry average;
- reduce annual refrigerant emissions to 15 percent or less of total store capacity;
- test refrigeration systems for adherence to GreenChill’s leak tightness guidelines.